Archive for July 14th, 2009

Residents urged to take action

| 14/07/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): In the wake of recent acknowledgments by the police that burglaries and break-ins are on the increase in Cayman, the Security Centre is warning residents to take steps to properly secure their homes. In light of the economic recession Frank Brennan, the firm’s Vice President of Operations, noted that people can ill-afford to lose their possessions and by taking a few precautions they can keep themselves and their property safe.

“Like every other place in the world, times have change and Cayman is not the same as it was twenty years ago when people could just leave their doors and windows open and trust that no one would invade their homes,” he said in a release from the firm. “We may not like it but we all have to take security seriously. It is important that people realise that as the population grows and the economy declines there are more people among us who will take advantage.”

He said it was a fact of life that security had to be taken seriously, and while the Cayman Islands was still a very safe place to live, leaving windows and doors open or having defective locks was just an invitation to an opportunist burglar.

“We might all wish that things were different but we have to face the realities of modern life, and that means being a lot more security conscious then we used to be,” he added. He said that in many of the recent home invasions the people concerned had not properly secured their properties and it was far better for the community to be aware of the risks rather than pretending that there is no need to take precautions.

Brennan lamented the fact that everyone thinks it won’t happen to them – until, of course, it does. “It is just plain common sense to secure your home and protect your possessions and loved ones,” Brennan added. “It doesn’t necessarily take thousands of dollars to secure a home. Using quality locks and inexpensive alarm systems make it easy to keep your property secure and deter the would-be intruder or burglar.”

He said residents should check their windows are secure – even those small ones that people think no one can get in as burglars are often very ingenious. He said securing locking doors properly and making sure there are no ladders and tools lying around outside in the yard is basic security sense.

Brennan advised people to look at their homes through a burglar’s eyes to better see the weak spots. “Examine your property from the street and look for the blind spots and most vulnerable areas. Stand outside the windows and look in, make sure no valuables, like expensive electronics, are visible. If you can see your belongings so can criminals,” he added.

Brennan explained that burglars are looking for a speedy entry and not attracting attention, so the more difficult a home looks to break into the greater chance you have of deterring him. “The enemies of the burglar are time and attention. The longer it takes to enter and the more noise he makes increase his chances of being seen and caught,” he said.

Noise is a major issue and Shaun Devine, the Security Centre’s Sales Manager, said that a visible alarm is not only a deterrent in the first instance but even if a burglar tries his luck the sound will nearly always send him packing.

“We recognize that with the current economic challenges everyone is watching what they spend but it is also a time when crime is on the increase and when people are less able to replace stolen items, so we have sourced some outstandingly good value top quality alarm systems, which we are now selling.’

He said that with the Security Centre’s 2009 Summer Crime Busters Special there were numerous ways for residents to secure their homes at an affordable price. He explained that the GE Allegro Security system was less than five hundred dollars and a simple and effective way to protect your home. “We have a wide choice of security systems and a number of ways to help people afford to properly secure their homes and help them feel safe again. The Allegro is especially good value but simple and easy to use and it comes with a free smoke detector.”
Devine lamented the fact that people spend thousands of dollars on home entertainment systems but can lose them in one break-in that could have been avoided with the installation of an effective alarm and solid locks.

“The thing to remember is that once you have an alarm turn it on and above all use your security locks,” Devine said. “At the end of the day, we can sell people the most sophisticated security systems in the world but if they don’t use them we can’t help.”

He said, however, that he would be happy to talk to anyone about their home security needs and how they can protect their homes without having to break the bank.

Contact the security centre on 949 0004 or visit for more information

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Cayman Islands retain Caribbean U19 title

| 14/07/2009 | 4 Comments

(IRB): Cayman Islands made the most of home advantage to retain their Caribbean Under 19 Championship crown with a 18-8 victory over Mexico in the final on Saturday. In a repeat of last year’s final in Barbados – when Cayman Islands won 22-3 to qualify for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2009 in Kenya – the hosts once again came out on top with Robbie Cribb kicking five penalties after Joel Clark’s early drop goal. The ever-improving Mexicans, who had scored three late tries to beat Trinidad & Tobago 22-14 in the semi finals, had only trailed 6-3 at half-time but Cribb’s reliable boot put Cayman Islands too far ahead before Pascal Nadaud’s late consolation try. (Photo: NAWIRA)


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Green alien becomes Joe Tourist

| 14/07/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS): A rescued Green Iguana is now part of the Joe Tourist Cayman team after owner Gilbert Nicoletta agreed to adopt it as a live mascot for his nature store. The injured animal had been found on the premises of a Seven Mile Beach restaurant and volunteers from Cayman Wildlife Rescue (CWR) responded quickly to take it in for emergency care. According to CWR, because it is an invasive species, Green Iguanas are never released into the wild, so a permanent home had to be found. Nicoletta quickly came to the rescue of “Joe” and offered to take him on. (Left: Gilbert Nicoletta, Sue Barnes and Joe the iguana)

The Iguana was suffering with a very old fracture, most likely due to being hit by an oncoming car, CWR said in a release. CWR Project Manager Alison Corbett explained, “The vet quickly determined that the animal had indeed been injured quite sometime ago and unfortunately the fracture had begun to heal improperly leaving one of its front limbs immobile.” The Green Iguana nicknamed “Joe” was passed onto wildlife rehabber, Susan Barnes, for care as he was malnourished and unable to feed himself.

Nicoletta commented, “At Joe Tourist, we now have a number of Green Iguanas that have become a major attraction and photo-op for visitors to our store. We also use the green iguana as an educational tool to teach the difference between the endemic Blue Iguana and the introduced, invasive common Green Iguana.” He stressed that visitors are always encouraged to visit the Blue Iguana Recovery Program at the QE II Botanical Gardens to see the true Cayman Blue Iguana. “We’re excited because the new rescued Joe will become a part of an in-store promotion at Joe Tourist; where customers can win free-smoothies and other products if they find a suitable name for our newest green-celebrity ‘Team Joe’ member.”

Rescued Green Iguanas also offer a chance for the Cayman Wildlife Rescue team and veterinarians to gain valuable experience in the care and rehab of iguanas which could in turn help save Cayman’s endemic Blue Iguana. Corbett added, “There is much to learn about reptile care in general, their needs are quite complex and their veterinary care is usually difficult. From every Green Iguana rescue and successful rehabilitation we gain important insight to help our endemic Blues.”

The Green Iguana is quickly becoming a pest in Cayman, Corbett cautioned, “All animals need to be treated humanely; no animal regardless of its status deserves a painful death after being hit by a car. The public can call our wildlife emergency line at 917-BIRD and a volunteer will come to collect the injured animal.”

Traffic continues to be the main cause for wildlife injuries in Cayman. Corbett added, “We ask the public slow down and watch for all wildlife and NEVER feed wildlife along the roads – it is dangerous for wildlife and for people.”

Cayman Wildlife Rescue is a programme of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands tasked with the rescue of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife for release back into the wild. It is financed by donations from the public and staffed entirely by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Alison Corbett at For more information you can also visit

What to do if you find injured wildlife – Call the LIME Sponsored Emergency Hotline 917-BIRD(2473) for all wildlife emergencies. Cayman Wildlife Rescue has a team of experienced and trained volunteers ready to assist in wildlife emergencies. The public are reminded to NEVER attempt to care for a wildlife animal themselves as they required special diets and veterinary care.

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RCIPS deny June shooting cover up

| 14/07/2009 | 13 Comments

(CNS): Police have confirmed that information connected to a shooting last month was not deliberately withheld from the public but was an administrative oversight compounded by the fact that the shooting was not reported to the police at the time.  A police spokesperson told CNS yesterday that the incident came to the attention of the RCIPS via the hospital and that the victim had not contacted the police in the first instance.

Police said that although they had interviewed the subject he could offer very little information other than that on 28 June he was walking along School Road, in the Rock Hole area of George Town and saw a grey or silver car come towards him, he heard an explosion and then felt the pain in his hip as the car spend away. At that point the wounded man flagged down another car to take him to the hospital.

He then remained in hospital for around one week recovering from the gun shot wound. Police said that they went to the reported scene as soon as they were informed by the hospital that they were treating a patient for gun shot wounds. However, nothing was found at the scene and no one in the area reported hearing any gun shots fired. Furthermore police said the victim was unaware of anyone who would want to shoot him and could give no more information. No arrests have been made in the case.

Police stated that there was no intention to hide the information but due an administrative oversight an official statement had not been released.

“The RCIPS endeavors to keep the community informed of all crimes and incidents of interest. This year alone, over 200 press releases have been issued by the police department," a police spokesperson said. "It is unfortunate that at times some incidents may slip though the process – but this is not intentional. The RCIPS would never attempt to hide information from the public about crimes or incidents. All updates are placed on our website where members of the public can access the latest news.”

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Missing machete turns up

| 14/07/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The integrity of evidence and the chain of custody in police hands was brought into question yesterday when a previously missing machete appeared in the court room as an exhibit during the trial in which William Martinez-McLaughlin is facing the charge of murder. At the start of the second week of the trial the jury heard that a machete found at the home of Jason Hinds, the Crown’s principal witness and the man said to be with McLaughlin on the night of the murder, had seemingly being ignored or disappeared during the investigation.

During last week’s proceedings in Cayman’s Grand Court Martinez-McLaughlin’s lead counsel Mark Tomassi had questioned a number of witnesses about what had happened to a machete which had reportedly been found at the home of Jason Hinds the day after the body of Brian Rankine had been found brutally murdered on the night of 16 May 2008, and asked where it was now. Despite calling for it, the machete was not among the exhibit evidence brought to the court for the trial.

During the hearing yesterday, however, the machete appeared without explanation. A police witness confirmed that Hinds was a suspect in the case at the time the machete in question was discovered at his home and had admitted to being at the scene of the crime – a crime which police believed had been committed with some sort of large blade such as a machete or a cutlass.

Yet it appeared from the evidence label that the black handled machete discovered at Midnight Road (the home of Jason Hinds) on 17 May 2008 at 6:25pm was bagged into evidence but never touched again until 10 July 2009 – last Friday, four days into the trial — when a second entry was made on the label’s evidence custody record. Attached to the evidence bag, the court was told, was an undated post-it note which stated, “Examined by Scenes of Crime Officers — no evidence of blood.”

When Sgt Ronald Francis took the stand, hetold the court how the machete was found in Hinds’ apartment but he had considered from its appearance, as it looked old and had no blood on it, that it probably was not important. However, he said his superior officer, Joseph Burton, had still collected the machete and placed it into custody along with a number of other items, including a knife in a sheath, as well as personal items and the clothes which Hinds had confessed to burying in his yard. Francis said all of these items were taken from the suspect’s home to George Town police station, where they were placed in a room for preliminary examination by scenes of crime officers (SOCOs).

During the defence’s earlier cross examination of the Crown’s SOCO witnesses, both of whom were said tobe present during this preliminary examination, the officers had testified that they could not recall seeing a machete during the processing of the crime’s potential evidence.  Both SOCOs involved in the processing of the evidence for this case told the court that they would not have determined whether or not a machete shown to them could have blood on it as they said it would not necessarily be possible to make that determination with the naked eye.

The jury heard Tomassi put those denials to Sgt Francis but he insisted that the machete, which was shown to him by the leading officer on the search, was brought to George Town police station and placed with all the other items for examination. He said the machete had earth and dirt on it but he did not think it was an important piece of evidence from its visible state as it did not look as though it had been used for a while.

Tomassi then asked Sgt Francis if he was present when Hinds was taken to the various scenes, including his own home, where he had said items connected to the crime were disposed of on the night of the murder. Sgt Francis told the court that he was. Tomassi asked Sgt Francis when he and others had accompanied Hinds to High Rock in East End, and Francis said he believed it was the Monday following the crime.

When Tomassi asked Sgt Francis if Hinds had ceased to be a suspect at that point, Hinds said, “He was always a suspect. I don’t know of him stopping being a suspect.” Clarifying his answer, Tomassi asked Sgt Francis again if Hinds was still a murder suspect on that day.

“To date, he is still a suspect for me,” said Sgt Francis. “As for my knowledge he is still a suspect in this murder.” Francis went on to say that, from all indication, Hinds was present at the time of the murder.

Tomassi then questioned Sgt. Francis about video tape which was taken during the visits to the various scenes, in which Hinds pointed out the places where he alleges McLaughlin disposed of various items in connection with the crime. Sgt. Francis confirm that tape had been taken, and when Tomassi asked where it was, Sgt Francis said he did not know and that the person who made the tape would be able to answer the question, but he said that all of the searches with Hinds were videoed.

On re-examination, the Crown established that Sgt Francis had moved off this case after the visits from the scenes and therefore was not cognisant of how the evidence and events had ultimately unfolded.

The trial continues today with more police and expert witnesses.

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Navy crew beats Brac squad

| 14/07/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): In what has now become a tradition, a football team from the latest Royal Navy ship to visit Cayman Brac, the HMS Iron Duke, was matched against a Cayman Brac Football Club select squad of U-16 and adults players Thursday afternoon on the Bluff field. Playing their third friendly football game against a Navy team this year, the Brac team were handed their first loss, beaten 3-1 by a very young, fit, strong and skilled crew from the Iron Duke.

According to Brac Sports Instructor Mitchum Sanford, the Brac played against the Royal Navy team with a mix age group of players comprised of adults and the club’s U-15 and U-17 players. But it was 15 year old Brian Martin who was the sole goal scorer for the Brac witha superbly lobbed ball over the Iron Duke goalkeeper’s head.

The visitors’ first goal came 20 minutes into the first half from a long true-ball pass that broke the Brac’s defence and left an Iron Duke’s striker a one-on-one with the Brac’s goalkeeper to easily slot the ball into the back of the net for an easy 1-0 score. Five minutes later Brian Martin equalized for the Brac, but just before half-time a massive communication error between two Brac defenders saw an easy control let go freely for another easy 6 yard shot into the Brac’s net for Iron Duke to lead 2-1 at half-time. (Photo right by HMS Iron Duke ship’s photographer Leading Airman Stuart Hill)

Nicholas Scott went close to equalizing the score line shortly into the second-half when he climbed into the air to bicycle a Brian Martin cross. Chance after chance came knocking for the Brac but no one seemed to have wanted to score that all important equalizer, so it was Iron Duke again on the score sheet with a fantastic blend of power and accuracy that left the Brac’s goalkeeper helpless and gave the Duke a 3-1 lead that would hold to the end.

“It was very fun. The pitch is fantastic,” said Iron Duke team captain LET Michael Davis. “It was a good game but hard to play in the heat.”

"We welcome and look forward to the continued visits of the Royal Navy Fleet on our shores. The friendships, laughter and fun shared is much welcomed by this community," Sanford said. "The club looks forward to many more visits in coming years from the UK Navy fleet." (Scroll down for more pictures)


 More photos by LA (Phot) Stuart Hill

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Remittances to Jamaica in steep decline

| 14/07/2009 | 6 Comments

(Caribworldnews): Jamaica has registered a significant drop in money transfers or remittances to the island, a new World Bank report says. ` Outlook for Remittance Flows 2009-2011,` said the 2009 year-to-date period show Jamaica registering a 17 percent decline in remittances, the biggest drop for any Latin American and Caribbean nation. Experts blamed the drop on the slowdown in the US job market. Last year $64 billion was remitted to Latin America and the Caribbean but that number could drop to 60 billion this year, World Bank officials said.


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